And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.
~Mark 14:29, CSB
The saints never saw themselves as saints. This was a title conferred on them by others. They were merely people who were hungry for God.
Fear and doubt are certainly close companions. Fear is merely a lack of faith and doubt is our greatest hindrance to faith. Many people hunger for a deeper faith and a more intimate relationship with Jesus but their fears overcome them. They are afraid to launch out into the deep. They are afraid to totally rely on Jesus and to trust Him when reason says that such trust is not a good idea. Miller compares modern Christians and churches to Gilligan’s Island. They talk about the outside world but lack the faith to challenge the deep. We have our own little closed system. Our goal is to survive and to stay safe. The goal of every coward is to stay safe, and to preserve life, at all cost. We are comfortable living in our closed world. We fail to realize that fear is the jailor to the soul. We are locked in a prison of our own making; restrained by our own fears. Miller says our top three fears are:  I’ve never done this before. We are afraid of adventure, afraid of risk, afraid to try new things because we are afraid of failure. I believe God called me to rock the boat. It is time to leave our comfort zone and get into the deep with Jesus. Yes, Peter did go overboard, and he did get wet, but he also moved closer to Jesus and he experienced Jesus miraculous power. Miller says our next fear is:  We are afraid we will be labeled as fanatics or kooks. This may have bothered me early on but I got over it. Both Wesley and Luther were considered fanatics in their day but look what these crazy kooks accomplished.  Miller’s third fear is really just an excuse, “I don’t have it in me. I am just not cut out for the deep.”
Before we go further, I want to define “deeper life.” I am not talking about passive Christianity that talks but never acts. I am not talking about bible study groups or prayer groups. I am not talking about the meet to eat and blow then go groups. I am talking about people who dare to obey Christ, about folks who will take the risk of going overboard, of getting out into the deep where there is no boat, no life preserver–only Jesus. You see Peter made a great discovery: when you get to the point that Jesus is all you have, you discover that He is all you need. You will never learn this spiritual lesson in the boat or on the land. Be like the four lepers who were sitting outside the gate of Samaria, “Why are we sitting here until we die?” They basic conclusion was: wouldn’t it be better to take a risk and die quickly, as to sit here and die slowly by starvation. It was like: “What do we have to lose?” I think of the old frustrated preacher who was dealing with a divided congregation that could not agree on anything.” He threw up his hands and said with a loud voice, “I am ready to do something, even if it is wrong.” Now he was very frustrated and he did not mean to say exactly what he said but we do need that spirit of desperation.
Another gorgeous day predicted: can’t complain about the weather. Good crowd at church last night. The Pizza Suppers seems to rally the troops. Our Youth was back to normal after being down for a couple of weeks. SENIOR ADULT fellowship tomorrow at 11:30: Soup, Salad, and Sandwiches.
We have a praise: Lincoln Kallas was at church last night.
Have a great day and thanks for reading the blog.
Miller share an old antidote in the last chapter. It is about the school teacher who ask her students to bring and emblem of their faith to school. The Jewish kid brought the Star of David. The Catholic kid brought a crucifix. The Pentecostal kid brought some anointing oil. The Baptist kid brought a covered dish, probably a casserole. I said it was old: I didn’t say it was funny.